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TRIESTE 2021 WEMW

When East Meets West prepares for a special hybrid edition

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- The call for new projects for the leading co-production forum is open until the end of October; the event will be held next January, focusing on Italy and Israel

When East Meets West prepares for a special hybrid edition
A photo taken at last year's pitching session

Forced to adapt to a new set of circumstances, the next edition of When East Meets West (WEMW) will unspool in a different format to usual. By putting safety first, the event will offer both an on-site and an online programme that will reflect the needs of all of the participants. More precisely, from 24-26 January 2021, the on-site version of WEMW will be held in Trieste as usual, including a combination of physical and digital initiatives, while the one-on-one meetings will happen online from 27-28 January.

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Alessandro Gropplero, head of WEMW, mentioned: “This is surely going to be the most challenging edition of WEMW yet, but we are ready to embark on this new, stimulating adventure. We strongly hope to be able to organise a hybrid edition to benefit from the recent ideas developed during this rapid digital transition while at the same time preserving and regaining human contact, which is still – and will always be – one of the essential ingredients in our sector.”

As at every edition, the core event will be the Co-Production Forum, which is dedicated to both fiction and documentary feature films in development from all over Europe. At the next iteration, more activities will be featured, and research offering new insights into the specific realities of the East and the West will continue. Also, projects and delegates from the two countries in focus will be presented at the event – this year, Italy and Israel are in the limelight. The call for entries is also open until 31 October, and producers from Europe, Israel, and North and South America are eligible to apply with their projects at wemw.it, where more information can also be found.

Regarding the call, Gropplero added: “Once again, we are looking for high-quality projects from all over Europe and beyond seeking international partners, and not only will we do our best to connect them with the right decision-makers, as usual, but for the first time, thanks to our network of business angels, we will also offer advice and consultancy on a series of different areas, such as co-production strategies, project marketing, financing and distribution plans, according to the primary needs of each selected team. We are perfectly aware of these unpredictable times and the impossibility of being sure of anything, but we still like to believe that anything is possible.”

The proven, successful WEMW format will be enriched with some new elements. For the first time, the selected projects will be accompanied before, during and after the event, through a series of curated, one-to-one meetings with a number of business angels from all over Europe, hand-picked for each project and organised in partnership with EAVE. In this way, the selected teams will be advised on co-production, financing, marketing or distribution, based on the needs of their individual project. Of course, the usual individual meetings between attending decision-makers and all WEMW professionals will still happen on the spot and online.

Also, the WEMW Scouting Days are running until the end of October, and the WEMW team will be available every Monday and Tuesday to discuss projects, share ideas or help potential applicants with the submission process. Professionals can reach the team and arrange a meeting by contacting them at info@wemw.it.

As for the other events still to be announced, Gropplero said: “We are planning to create an immersive experience for all of our participants, starting with the idea that it will not be a ‘limited’ edition; on the contrary, we will offer more initiatives and solutions to make participation in the WEMW Co-Production Forum even more effective and beneficial.”

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